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The Feedback Thread - For All Games!

CathyTeaCathyTea Posts: 22,769 Member
Would you like to receive specific feedback on your SimLit writing?

Then this is the thread for you!

No matter what version of the Sims you use for your storytelling, you can request feedback on your writing here.

Guidelines for Writers:

If you would like to request feedback on your story, then please share a link to the post you'd like feedback on. If you want feedback on a specific sentence, approach, idea, or style, that's fine, too! Just let us know!

If your work deals with sensitive topics or is NSFW, please mention that when you post your link.

Please let us know what types of comments you would like! You can pose a few questions for us to answer, if you'd like.

Let us know what aspect of your writing (including illustrations) you want us to focus our comments on.

Always take the comments with a grain of salt: remember that each reader has her or his own favorite styles, and your style may not fit that reader's preferences! While we're asking for honest feedback, we're also free not to follow the suggestions! At the end of the day, it's your writing.

If you do end up feeling momentarily discouraged as a result of comments, please let us know! Sometimes, it's simply a misunderstanding. Whenever you feel discouraged (and it happens to all of us sometimes!), we'll be happy to help you work through the discouragement and recover your inspiration!

If you receive helpful comments, please make a point to reciprocate by sharing your comments with other writers when they request feedback here! (It's especially helpful if you provide feedback to the readers/writers who provide feedback to you.)

Guidelines for Those Providing Feedback:

It goes without saying that feedback should always be presented in a kind, polite, and respectful manner.

Simultaneously, this thread is a place for useful feedback. Short, general comments like, "Great start!" are often not specific enough to help the writer.

Some tips to provide helpful feedback:

1) Point out specific examples from the writer's work to illustrate your comments.
2) Be honest, authentic, and thoughtful, genuinely sharing your experience as a reader. Think about the type of feedback you'd like to get on your work.
3) Answer the questions that the writer poses, paying attention to the specific points the writer is asking about. (In other words, if the writer isn't asking for you to point out typos or variances from standard written English, then don't. Let the writer's request and questions guide the type of feedback you provide.)
4) Think about what the writer can do to make the writing even better, in your estimation.
5) Include a few positives every time! The writer may request feedback on "what doesn't work" or "what's wrong with this", and while it can be useful for you to point out a few suggestions for improvement, it's also always helpful to point out what DOES work and what you do like in the work--even when you're giving constructive suggestions.


**Please share with me any suggestions you have for these guidelines!**
Post edited by CathyTea on
Cathy Tea's SimLit Anthology

Dragon Name: Hywicoes | House: Ravenclaw | Wand: Dogwood, Unicorn hair 11 ¼" , Suprisingly Swishy

Comments

  • CathyTeaCathyTea Posts: 22,769 Member
    Today, in The Writers' Lounge, @purplestarz2006 stopped by to ask for some feedback on her story, and that's part of what inspired this thread!

    Here's the quote from @purplestarz2006 :smile:
    But I really would like to get some feedback on it; like I said, it's rotation based and it's currently on it's 14th trip around the neighborhood, so I'm getting concerned that it's becoming repetitive.

    If anyone wants to check it out, my story/blog can be found at tranquilitycreeksims.blogspot.com.

    Here's my feedback, @purplestarz2006 :

    I took a random sampling of chapters, and I really enjoyed reading it! The genre reminded me of stories we used to see in TS2, with the Sims addressing the player, and with funny dialogue. I loved the screenshots!

    I really like this style of writing. One thing I like about it is that I can scan it quickly, focusing mostly on the pictures if I want. And I enjoy your selection of screenshots--they give a really good idea of what's happening. I also love all the screen captures of in-game pop-ups and notifications!

    I tend to choose this type of story when I want to think about game-play and experience the game along with the writer, and I always end up feeling surprised to discover that I end up really, really caring for the Sims in this type of story!

    For me, what I read today didn't feel repetitive: it felt patterned, like game-play does. I could predict what would happen--and sometimes, I was wrong! And I really enjoyed the predictable nature of it--especially when it was unpredictable. It's like the game: we get the same variations with a few surprises. And for me, that's rewarding.

    What about for you as the writer? Are you still enjoying it? Is it feeling repetitive to you as you write it? Do you want to mix it up?

    My favorite part of it is the Author's Notes at the end! I love that! I love knowing what the gamer is thinking about! :)
    Cathy Tea's SimLit Anthology

    Dragon Name: Hywicoes | House: Ravenclaw | Wand: Dogwood, Unicorn hair 11 ¼" , Suprisingly Swishy
  • chocischocis Posts: 186 Member
    I admire your dedication to this community! I'll post here once I figure out what exactly I would like to ask :). And I'll be happy to share my thougths.

    As to the guidlines, they are very comprehensive, as usual. In a no time you prepared something amazing. Maybe in the writer section there could be a remark about letting us all know if someone is getting discouraged? You mention taking the suggestions with a grain of salt, but no matter the willingness, disappointment can take its toll. There's your Kindness Bench, so maybe you should post a link here for when the despair comes ;).
    And it never hurts to remind people about the content warnings, I think.


  • CathyTeaCathyTea Posts: 22,769 Member
    @chocis Great suggestion! I'll add that about feeling discouraged--it happens even to the most experienced of us!

    What do you mean by content warnings? Do you mean trigger warnings and/or NSFW?
    Cathy Tea's SimLit Anthology

    Dragon Name: Hywicoes | House: Ravenclaw | Wand: Dogwood, Unicorn hair 11 ¼" , Suprisingly Swishy
  • IllusoryThrallIllusoryThrall Posts: 1,111 Member

    I'll be brave and ask for help, too. I have a story I've been sitting on in hiatus for years.. (literally, I originally had the story idea in 2012) and just decided to pick it back up. My concern is making sure the character is consistent from the first few posts I had put up then to the new chapter I wrote now. Basically, I need feedback on keeping her POV consistent when it's been years since I wrote the first few chapters. I think it sounds about right, but I may be reading what I think I wrote instead of what's actually there, you know? It wouldn't be the first time that something like that happened, so outside eyes are always appreciated.

    The original chapters are here:
    Prologue
    Chapter One
    Chapter Two
    Chapter Three

    The new chapter is here:
    Chapter Four
  • chocischocis Posts: 186 Member
    @CathyTea Both. I stated on my thread and home page that the story is intented for adults, but people in here will get a link straight to a specific update, so I should remember about including a warning while posting a link.


  • chocischocis Posts: 186 Member
    edited March 2017
    @IllusoryThrall I've just read your story (I'm peaoorko) and I liked it a lot. My favourite line was
    about the hunger becoming alive and eating Katie. Wow!
    I don't see any inconsistencies in the POV. Katie's still very methodical, organized and determined.
    She gets more depressed and discouraged, but it feels like a natural evolution of the character given the circumstances.
    So I'd say you have nothing to worry about. If anything, it is very clear how much you care about being consistent, you take great care of pointing out how Katie reacts/feels the same way in similar but different situations. It fits the narrative very well and I wouldn't have noticed the story was on a hiatus for so long, it feels like you never stopped telling it.
    If you have any more questions, shoot.

    I know this is supposed to be a place for a constructive feedback so everyone, feel free to ❤️❤️❤️❤️ my response. :)

    EDIT: Typo, I meant *assess but forgot about the last "s". I thinks it's funny so I'm leaving it like that. :p

  • IllusoryThrallIllusoryThrall Posts: 1,111 Member
    @chocis Thanks for reading and for the comments. It helps knowing that others aren't seeing any inconsistencies, either. I wanted to make the transition from the old stuff to the new as seamless as possible. Just yesterday, I made sure that the world and save file are working, and are ready to continue the story. I have so many ideas for this story that I can't wait to continue it! I plan to put some more time into it next week, and get at least another couple chapters out. I don't want to lose the momentum I've got going, so at least one post a week is a must.
  • purplestarz2006purplestarz2006 Posts: 317 Member
    @CathyTea Thank you so much for your comments! It's funny that you mention it being similar to what we used to see for TS2, because that is exactly where I picked up the style from. I had a similar blog for TS2, so when TS4 came out I just kind of did what I knew. I like what you said about it being patterned rather than repetitive. I hadn't thought about it like that before.

    @IllusoryThrall I just read through all the chapters you linked to-I really like it so far. I thought the POV and narration were incredibly consistent; if I didn't know ahead of time, I wouldn't have been able to tell that it had been on hiatus for so long. I definitely do want to know more about your main character, but I know enough that I'm also already rooting for her life to get better.
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  • IllusoryThrallIllusoryThrall Posts: 1,111 Member
    @purplestarz2006 Thanks for reading and commenting! I tried reading and re-reading the original posts to get me in the right mindset. I guess it worked. I used to do that for roleplay characters, too, reading the POV pieces I had written for them before playing them, and it helps. As for Katie, her life can only get better from where it is, right?
  • AudreyFldAudreyFld Posts: 6,455 Member
    Hi! I have a general question similar to @chocis My story does have some chapters with partial nudity and the initial topic could be a trigger? I am guessing that means it would trigger someone to have a bad reaction due to going through a similar circumstance in real life. It's definitely adult themed. I am not sure if I have labeled it strongly enough. What is the protocol for labeling? I do put a partial nudity warning at the beginning of those chapters. Is that enough?

    @purplestarz2006 - I have started reading your story. I love the way the narration is done with the mysterious (weird, creepy, magical) narrator. Lol. I have seen others of these and could never do it myself so kudos for being so creative. Since I have only read a few chapters, I can't comment on the repetitiveness of the story. But I am enjoying it so far.

    @IllusoryThrall - I commented on your blog, but will do it here as well. I thought it flowed well. And as you can see by my siggy, I have a love of apocalypse challenges. That's how I learned so much about Sims 3. I am really excited to see how you play your story out. I could feel how she feels. Alone and desolate but not ready to give up.

    @chocis - Your story is fun and going to be drama filled. My favorite part is the House of the Rising Sun quotes to Don! I think I called it the wrong name in my comment. I'm sure you knew what I meant.
  • CathyTeaCathyTea Posts: 22,769 Member
    chocis wrote: »
    @CathyTea Both. I stated on my thread and home page that the story is intented for adults, but people in here will get a link straight to a specific update, so I should remember about including a warning while posting a link.

    Great! I added that to the Writer's Guidelines! :)
    Cathy Tea's SimLit Anthology

    Dragon Name: Hywicoes | House: Ravenclaw | Wand: Dogwood, Unicorn hair 11 ¼" , Suprisingly Swishy
  • CathyTeaCathyTea Posts: 22,769 Member
    @IllusoryThrall I read your prologue and first three chapters this morning! I really like them! I noticed a shift in tone from the prologue to chapter one, but that felt perfectly fine to me! I know I did something similar in my newest story: the Prologue has a different feel from the chapter. And I think that often happens.

    In your case, the prologue is so dark and it sets up the world and current situation, whereas the chapters show the day-to-day life and the character's response to that life.

    Since you're telling the story in diary form, I wouldn't be overly concerned with consistency. The style of each diary entry can be a device to show the character's development. Have you ever reread any of your own diaries? I know when I read the ones I kept in college, the tone would shift drastically from month-to-month. So rather than consistency of voice, you could consider really keying into how your diarist is feeling at the moment she's writing that and let the tone reflect that. And so far, you seem to be doing that really effectively! :)
    Cathy Tea's SimLit Anthology

    Dragon Name: Hywicoes | House: Ravenclaw | Wand: Dogwood, Unicorn hair 11 ¼" , Suprisingly Swishy
  • IllusoryThrallIllusoryThrall Posts: 1,111 Member
    @AudreyFld Thanks for your comments! I saw the links in your siggy, and I think I found two new stories to binge read when I get a spare moment to read... hehe! With testing my new challenge, and keeping up with now three stories, I have plenty of stuff to work on and never enough time in a day. I'm glad you liked the beginning of Katie's story. It's definitely Apocalypse-themed and I'll be trying to follow those rules, too, as much as the story allows. It was the ambiance of that custom world I found that sparked the story idea in the first place, so I was lucky to find it still downloadable and working all these years later! I just got a new computer, too, so my load times in sims 3 went from 30 minutes plus to less than a minute, which is really nice.

    @CathyTea - That's a good point about diaries varying in tone. I'll have to remember that as I continue the story. Right now she feels very lost and alone, and understandably so, but things will obviously not always stay the same for her, so the tone would definitely change. I hadn't thought about the prologue being so dark as being different, but I also felt it needed it. With such a drastic world change for the character, I couldn't see how else to go but dark. Thanks for your comments, you've given me a lot to think on as I continue the story!
  • CitizenErased14CitizenErased14 Posts: 12,168 Member
    @AudreyFld I'm randomly going to burst into the thread to give my thoughts on your question haha. You probably are familiar with how I do things with A2A, but basically I have a warning on my front page of my blog detailing all the sensitive topics that come up in my story. And when things get steamier than normal, I just do a quick warning at the beginning of the chapter :)

    Warnings are hard. I once had a long discussion with other writers about this, and none of us could fully agree! I feel like a warning on the front page of your blog is usually a good solution. Then, if anyone complains, you're kind of "covered" (if you know what I mean) because you were already sure to publicly put a warning on your blog (just maybe not on the specific chapter).
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  • AudreyFldAudreyFld Posts: 6,455 Member
    @CitizenErased14 - So I will go back and add that to my Forum thread and the first page of my blog if it's not already there. Any standard language that anyone recommends? I have seen a lot of different variations. Some just mention as a caution and others go into great detail. Should I should post a warning when I post a link that is a little extra steamy?
  • CitizenErased14CitizenErased14 Posts: 12,168 Member
    @AudreyFld I go into a lot of detail on my front page of my blog, because I had some people get really upset/disturbed by what happened to Clara when she was a teen. Rather than spoil the chapter by putting a specific warning there, I instead added a specific list of potentially controversial/upsetting topics on my homepage (since I figure most future readers will be stopping there first before reading the story).

    I am very vague on individual chapter warnings (except that shower chapter :joy:). I don't put a warning on the forums when I link to a potentially adult chapter, as anyone who clicks the link will see my warning on the chapter itself :blush:

    Just how I do things! Obviously there really isn't one "right" or "wrong" way to do it. :)
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  • CathyTeaCathyTea Posts: 22,769 Member
    @AudreyFld I'm randomly going to burst into the thread to give my thoughts on your question haha. You probably are familiar with how I do things with A2A, but basically I have a warning on my front page of my blog detailing all the sensitive topics that come up in my story. And when things get steamier than normal, I just do a quick warning at the beginning of the chapter :)

    Warnings are hard. I once had a long discussion with other writers about this, and none of us could fully agree! I feel like a warning on the front page of your blog is usually a good solution. Then, if anyone complains, you're kind of "covered" (if you know what I mean) because you were already sure to publicly put a warning on your blog (just maybe not on the specific chapter).

    I love the way you do your warnings, @CitizenErased14 . It's really useful and thoughtful. I also like the way that @InfraGreen and @rednenemon and @AdamsEve1231 do warnings. As a reader, I count on the warnings. When I see them, then I know to protect my heart a bit as I read and to be prepared so I'm not totally open. It really works for me! It's like when I was a kid and my brother would tell me when the scary parts were coming up when we'd watch movies, and he'd cover my eyes for me until they were over.
    Cathy Tea's SimLit Anthology

    Dragon Name: Hywicoes | House: Ravenclaw | Wand: Dogwood, Unicorn hair 11 ¼" , Suprisingly Swishy
  • AudreyFldAudreyFld Posts: 6,455 Member
    @CitizenErased14 - I will check what you have since you have experienced that backlash. That helps me a lot because my topic deals with spousal abuse at the very beginning. I need to be sure everyone is prepared although I haven't had anyone give me grief yet. I sort of say it in the intro to the story when describing the challenge. But I will be more specific.

    @CathyTea - that's a great way to put it. A warning before the scary parts. Lol.
  • RipuAncestorRipuAncestor Posts: 2,194 Member
    Oooh, I really like the idea of this thread! I'll probably pop in sometimes to ask for feedback and to give some hopefully helpful opinions. :)
    doublebannerpic.jpg?w=676
    My Sims stories:
    The Fey of Life - fairytales in life are few and far between (Forum thread HERE)
    The Chrysanthemum Tango - a story about life, death, magic, and how to be a good landlady (Forum thread HERE)
    Forget-Me-Not - some things just refuse to stay buried; an Ambrosia Challenge story (Forum thread HERE)
  • cecerose0208cecerose0208 Posts: 1,521 Member
    This is a great thread. I plan on using it for feedback at some point in the future, but for now, I'll try to take a look at the links and provide feedback to the other writers. Thanks for setting this up @CathyTea! I feel like this can be a really great thing for writers to make sure they're giving their best to their readers.
  • cecerose0208cecerose0208 Posts: 1,521 Member
    CathyTea wrote: »
    Today, in The Writers' Lounge, @purplestarz2006 stopped by to ask for some feedback on her story, and that's part of what inspired this thread!

    Here's the quote from @purplestarz2006 :smile:
    But I really would like to get some feedback on it; like I said, it's rotation based and it's currently on it's 14th trip around the neighborhood, so I'm getting concerned that it's becoming repetitive.

    If anyone wants to check it out, my story/blog can be found at tranquilitycreeksims.blogspot.com.

    Here's my feedback, @purplestarz2006 : The first thing I did was read through the challenge rules. Challenges are some of my favorite SimsLit stories to read (especially when there's some sort of legacy structure to it!), and I was intrigued by this one. Just seeing how complicated it is to set it up kind of gave me an idea of what I might be getting into.

    I went through several of the rounds, choosing random families together every few rounds, and checking the scorecards as well. I'm not used to reading this style of writing about Sims, most of the stories I gravitate to are written more like novels released as episodes. But I got into it very quickly.

    I absolutely love the voice of the narrator, it's kind of a fun twist on game-aware Sims. And I found myself really looking forward to seeing what the Sims were up to since I didn't read each family in each round. I'm thinking I may have to circle back and read the whole thing from the beginning.

    I get how it can seem repetitive to you because it's basically just keeping track of the Sims' life cycles. But I think it's interesting to see the familial relationships, different hobbies (usually decided by aspirations), and different career paths.

    If I could give some feedback on how to feel less repetitive (since that is the whole point of this), I suggest you dig a little deeper into your Sim's personality traits. There are a few ways I've considered how this could be accomplished.
    • Right now, they all seem to respond to the mysterious narrator voice in a uniform way. The ones who are cheerful/good/outgoing would likely respond different than loner/squeamish/snob, and a even that's different from insane/mean/evil. Expanding it from responding to the situation to responding to the situation in a trait-specific way would be nice to see.
    • Their dialog with each other could be expanded even more. I like how it is now, but it's an option for personality expansion. It's something that seemed to happen naturally over the cycles, like with the ongoing Howard family discussion of Herbert's career choice.
    • More social events that include multiple households and more screenshots. Sims get up to the most unexpected things when simply left to their own devices in the background of a group gathering.

    That being said, my suggestions are just suggestions. It's like as soon as toddlers entered your game, your Sims all took on a bunch of new personality, and I really enjoyed the way you brought that out. Whether it was the toddlers themselves, or their caretakers and siblings. In Particular, I loved Haiti as the fussy toddler. When she finally answered a question in the affirmative after aging up to Child, I was just as excited as her brother, lol.

    One other unsolicited word of advice, try not to de-culturalize your Sims with ethnic CAS parts if you can help it. I noticed you got rid of a head scarf on one Sim, and you gave poor Brett what looks like a Little Richard hair process to his afro. Definitely a style choice that's totally up to you, but there are perfectly good CAS hairstyles that look like a Sim with a natural afro finally went to a good barber, lol. :)

    Overall, I really love your Sims, and I like how one family has cousins spread out in all the houses in town. I've bookmarked it to see what happens next!

  • AudreyFldAudreyFld Posts: 6,455 Member
    @cecerose0208 - This wonderful and thoughtful advice. Even though it wasn't for me, I learned from it - so thank you! :D
  • cecerose0208cecerose0208 Posts: 1,521 Member
    AudreyFld wrote: »
    @cecerose0208 - This wonderful and thoughtful advice. Even though it wasn't for me, I learned from it - so thank you! :D

    Awww, thanks! Low-key, I read back through it and thought about my own story too. ;)
  • purplestarz2006purplestarz2006 Posts: 317 Member
    Wow, @cecerose0208, those were amazing comments.Thank you so much. I'm glad you liked Haiti-you're right, the toddlers brought a whole new personality to things. I will definitely keep what you said in mind as I go forward, especially the part about paying more attention to the personality traits and throwing more social events. (I am trying to get in the habit of at least throwing them actual weddings.)
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  • cecerose0208cecerose0208 Posts: 1,521 Member
    edited March 2017
    Wow, @cecerose0208, those were amazing comments.Thank you so much. I'm glad you liked Haiti-you're right, the toddlers brought a whole new personality to things. I will definitely keep what you said in mind as I go forward, especially the part about paying more attention to the personality traits and throwing more social events. (I am trying to get in the habit of at least throwing them actual weddings.)

    Weddings sure, but no rush to add birthday parties in.

    At the risk of immediately contradicting myself, I've gotta say, I love how your Sims kept aging up without birthday cakes. It felt like an SNL-level running jokes throughout the cycles, like, "oh ❤️❤️❤️❤️, forgot to make another Sim a cake, darn!" I'm smiling now just thinking about it, hehe.
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